Veganism is the most radical form of vegetarianism, which completely excludes the consumption of animal products. The main reason for this phenomenon is ethical since vegans do not want animals to suffer and to die to satisfy the needs of humanity. Many representatives of the vegan movement insistently urge all people to abandon animal food and animal-based commodities. Imagine that their wish suddenly came true — is this prospect really so bright?
GIGGAG offers you to take a look at what might happen to our world if every single person on the planet went vegan.
Unfortunately, letting go of livestock and poultry is not as easy as it seems. Even if some of them, say, sheep or pigs, can somehow adapt to life in the wild, it is unlikely to work with others (for example, chickens) because they are too different from their wild ancestors.
But even with the assumption of a successful adaptation to the wildlife, many animals are unlikely to be well-fed and healthy. You do not have to go far for examples — see how the cows live in India (picture on the right): sacred animals often have to find their own food among the garbage, which can hardly be considered healthy. But they do not end in a slaughterhouse and their meat is mostly only eaten by predatory animals and birds.
In general, the absolute majority of domestic animals is too dependent on people and is unlikely to survive on their own. Therefore, to release animals into freedom would mean dooming them to a slow death from hunger, disease, and predator attacks, even though this is absolutely natural in the wild.
There is another way out: the creation of reservations for farm animals. But the cost of this will be really huge, including human resources, and it is not entirely clear where to get the money from. Probably, there will be many volunteers who will want to care for the animals, but even the most unpretentious of them need something to live on.
These problems are absolutely inevitable, and it is likely that soon after the transition of all mankind to vegan food and a vegan lifestyle, the economy of some countries is simply bound to collapse. Farms will be ruined since not all of them will be able to change the type of production quickly enough, for example, to switch to the cultivation of vegetables, fruits, and cereals.
It is possible that the transition to a new way of life will be less painful if it is implemented gradually and in accordance with a careful plan. But who knows how long this will last? Meanwhile, economic problems in the world aren’t going anywhere and the inhabitants of some countries don’t even have time to think about going vegan since the lack of food leaves them happy with just about anything edible.
As soon as the number of cattle is decreased, emissions of methane into the atmosphere will be significantly reduced, as well. And the lands that we used to graze livestock or grow food for them will no longer be occupied. In many cases, these lands were “conquered” from the forest in the past so that they can again be planted with trees.
But it is possible that the land will again be occupied because the transition to vegetable nutrition means that we’ll have to grow a lot more vegetables and cereals. And here it should be noted that the cultivation of such food is impossible without the use of cruel measures in relation to some animals. We are talking about the extermination of rodents — because how else can we protect the crops from their raids? In addition, when using land for agricultural needs, people often destroy the natural habitat of many animals.
According to some studies, vegan food reduces the risk of developing type II diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and certain cancers. Also, a vegan diet contributes to weight loss, which is clearly seen from the photos of the gastroenterologist Angie Sadeghi, who has been a vegan for over 10 years.
But does this mean that all vegans are absolutely healthy people? As it turned out, this is not entirely true. If they have an unbalanced diet, vegans may develop a deficiency of vital substances such as protein, calcium, zinc, iron, vitamin D3, and vitamin B12 and this may make them more prone to associated diseases.
The rejection of animal-based products doesn’t always guarantee that you’ll age slower than if you were to eat meat on occasion. We compared a photo of writer Gillian McKeith and restaurant critic Nigella Lawson. Both ladies are now 58 years old, however, while Gillian adheres to a vegetable diet, Nigella doesn’t shy away from a plate full of meat.
It should be noted that some people are simply unable to exclusively consume vegetarian food due to allergies to soy, nuts, wheat, and other foods that make up a vegan diet.
Particular attention should be paid to the nutrition of children, especially nursing infants, whose only source of nutrition is their mother’s milk or similar baby food. There is a chance that some parents, wanting to grow a “true vegan,” will try to feed their babies with a vegetable “equivalent” of milk. Unfortunately, such cases have already occurred, and some of them have ended tragically.
In any case, a growing body needs a sufficient amount of proteins and other substances for proper development, and parents should first take care of this before projecting certain views onto their children.
This is already happening: in the photo, you can see a dog whose owner feeds her exclusively vegan food (sweet potatoes, tofu, brown rice, chia seeds, vegetables, and digestive enzymes). The woman, of course, assures that the dog enjoys the new diet. Internet users, however, disagree with her, arguing that daily mash from vegetables and seeds can cause allergies, diarrhea, bloating, and other problems for her pet.
And this is far from the only case, especially since ready-made vegan food for dogs and cats has been available for sale for quite some time now. Although dogs, like people, are omnivores and could theoretically go vegan without much harm (again, this is a controversial statement, since no one has conducted serious research on this topic), cats are predators that need animal food. So forcing pets to eat vegan food can very well be regarded as cruel treatment, which contradicts the very essence of veganism.
To date, it is difficult to say whether humanity will ever give up animal food. Anyway, each of us, regardless of our food preferences, can reduce the amount of cruelty on this planet. For this, we need to be more careful with nature, animals, the people around us, and, most importantly, teach our children the importance of kindness and tolerance.